The most iconic relationships in music history (2024)

By Megan Riedlinger 3:00am PDT, Apr 8, 2024


We'retaking a look back at some of the most iconic rock couples through the years, starting with this duo…

Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain were both rockers in their own right upon meeting in 1990. Kurt was the leader of Nirvana and Courtney fronted Hole. Two years later, they married in Hawaii and welcomed daughter Frances Bean in August 1993. Tragically, Kurt died by suicide less than a year later in April 1994.

Keep reading to see more rock couples…

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Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen and actress Valerie Bertinelli fell for each other in 1980 and married justeight months later.

They welcomed a son, musician Wolfgang Van Halen, a decade after that then split another decade on, ultimately finalizing their divorce in 2007. Both went on to marry other people, but Valerie was still by Eddie's side when he died from cancer at 65 in October 2020.

She's said that despite the fact that their marriage didn't work out, the guitar icon remained a soulmate.

"We went through a lot of hell," she said on the "Today" show following Eddie's death. "We weren't really good to each other at a lot of points in our lives because we met so young and were very immature. But I'm so happy that we were able to come to a beautiful place by the end of his life," she added. "I wish he was still here."

MORE: See what rock stars looked like when they were young


Tommy Lee and Heather Locklear had a high-profile relationship in the '80s, marrying a year after they met in 1985 when the drummer was at the height of his Mötley Crüe fame and the actress was starring on "Dynasty."

But the rocker and the beauty parted ways seven years later amidst rumors of Tommy's infidelity.

MORE: Heather Locklear's most wildly outdated and retro fashion and beauty moments


Pamela Anderson married Mötley Crüe drummer Tommy Lee in a white bikini in Cancun, Mexico, in 1995 after just a few days of dating. They welcomed two sons and split three years later after Tommy became abusive. He even spent time in jail — but they made their way back to each other in 1998… only for things to implode again. In her 2023 memoir "Love, Pamela," the beauty admits that looking back, "My relationship with Tommy may have been the only time I was ever truly in love."

MORE: See Tommy Lee's most ridiculously over-the-top fashion moments


Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham met in the '60s during Stevie's senior year of high school. After playing in a few bands together and both attending San Jose State University, they joined Fleetwood Mac in late 1974. Less than two years later, their relationship was over, but their romance and heartbreak gave us some iconic songs including "Landslide" and "Dreams," which Stevie wrote about their deteriorating relationship, and "Go Your Own Way," which Lindsey wrote about Stevie.

"You just have to throw yourself into your song. I mean, I broke up with Lindsey in 1976," Stevie later told The New Yorker of how they made it work as bandmates for decades. "We'd only been in Fleetwood Mac for a year and a half, and we were breaking up when we joined Fleetwood Mac. So we just put our relationship kind of back together, because I was smart enough to know that, if we had broken up the second month of being in Fleetwood Mac, it would have blown the whole thing." They were making the band's acclaimed 1977 album, "Rumours," in the midst of their personal turmoil. "I just bided my time, and tried to make everything as easy as possible, tried to be as sweet and nice to Lindsey as I could be. He wasn't happy, either," Stevie added. "Then something happened that was, you know, 'We're done.' And he knew it. It was time. And the band was solid, by that time, so I could walk away knowing that he was safe. And that the band was safe. And that we could work it out."'


Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards was 35 when he met model Patti Hansen on her 23rd birthday at Studio 54 in 1979.

Nine months later, he saw her again at his 36th birthday party — Mick Jagger's then-partner, model Jerry Hall, had invited her — and they soon started dating.

The couple, who have two daughters together, married in 1983 on Keith's 40th birthday.


English model-turned-photographer Pattie Boyd was just 21 when she married The Beatles guitarist George Harrison, who was only 22, in 1966 (they're seen here the day after their wedding)after meeting him while filming"A Hard Day's Night" in 1964. She left him in 1974, unable to accept his infidelities, calling his affair with bandmate Ringo Starr's wife Maureen "the final straw."She inspired his music includingthe songs"I Need You," "If I Needed Someone," "Something" and "For You Blue." Pattie soon went on to marry one of George's famous rock star friends who'd long been in love with her…


In 1979, Pattie Boyd wed rocker Eric Clapton. Their marriage was plagued by his drug and alcohol abuse and affairs, leading Pattie to walk out in 1987 and divorce Eric two years later. She famously inspired his songs "Layla," "Wonderful Tonight" and "Bell Bottom Blues."


Joan Baez was far more famous than Bob Dylan when they started dating in the early '60s. Then he abruptly ended things in 1965 after she'd given his career a major boost following years of inviting him to join her on stage. Her heartbreak later inspired her hit 1975 song "Diamonds & Rust."

While promoting her 2023 documentary "Joan Baez I Am Noise," the folk music and activism icon revealed she finally forgave Bob decades later, explaining to People magazine of their romance, "We were in our early 20s. We were stupid, and you can't blame somebody forever. I certainly tried but finally stopped."

She told Parade how she ultimately got there: "A couple of years ago, I painted a portrait of him when he was young, put his music on and simply wept for about 48 hours. All of the resentment, all the nonsense," she said.

"[In the film] when he's talking about that he doesn't have any particular girlfriend, we're so young. He [still has] his baby fat. All of that from the past, I would like other people to release him from that too," she added. "When you're that age, there are mysterious things that make you do what you do and say what you say. I was caught up in it at an early age too. It took me a long time to grow out of it."

MORE: See the singers and songwriters who are following in their rock star parents' footsteps


To celebrate Mick Jagger's 80th birthday on July 26, 2023, we're taking a look back at some of the most iconic rock couples through the years…

Rolling Stones frontman Mick Jagger has dated — and married — his fair share of beautiful women, but his relationship with Marianne Faithfull is the stuff of rock legend. She was a talented musician herself who co-wrote "Sister Morphine" for the Rolling Stones and influenced the group and their iconic '60s style. The gorgeous couple stayed together for four years, with Marianne ending things in 1970 as the Rolling Stones were at the height of their fame and she was coming off success as an actress in a string of films including 1969's "Hamlet."


Musician Kid Rock and actress Pamela Anderson kicked off a wild romance made in tabloid heaven back in 2001 and got engaged the following year. Their turbulent relationship ended for the first time in 2003, but it wasn't the last of the famous duo. They found their way back to each other in 2006 and married that same year in July… only to end things four months later.

In her 2023 memoir "Love, Pamela," the bombshell praised Kid Rock (real name: Bob Ritchie) for being "really great" to her sons with Tommy Lee but also confirmed rumors that they split after attending a screening of "Borat" — in which Pam appeared — when he got upset after she made a reference to her sex tape with Tommy in the film. "Bob stormed out, calling me a wh*** and worse," she wrote, saying "he was embarrassed, and his reaction was not thought through."


Guns N' Roses lead singer Axl Rose dated supermodel Stephanie Seymour beginning in 1991. Their courtship resulted in Stephanie appearing in two of the band's music videos, "Don't Cry" and "November Rain," and eventually led to an engagement, though they never made it down the aisle. The couple split in 1993 and things took a bitter turn when they sued one another — Axl accused her of assaulting him and stealing jewelry while Stephanie claimed he'd physically abused her.


One of the most famous couples in music ever? Yoko Ono and John Lennon. The Beatles member met future wife Yoko in November 1966 when she was setting up her art exhibit at the Indica Gallery in London. The two were reportedly instantly fascinated with one another, though Yoko supposedly had not heard of The Beatles. They began corresponding, despite John being married to Cynthia Powell at the time. He referenced Yoko in 1968's "Julia," and then while his first wife was away that same year, he invited Yoko to visit him. The two started a romantic relationship that led to marriage the following year and the birth of a son, Sean Lennon, in 1975. The legendary music couple were together until John's tragic 1980 murder, despite having an unconventional (and reportedly open) relationship.


Black Crowes frontman Chris Robinson and "Almost Famous" actress Kate Hudson met and quickly moved in together in the summer of 2000. They married on New Year's Eve later that year when he was 34 and she was 21, welcomed a son in 2004 and split in 2006.


Impossibly cool rock couple David Bowie and Iman are up next. The musician and the model were a match made in heaven, meeting at a dinner party in 1990. David told HELLO! magazine his attraction to Iman was "immediate and all-encompassing," adding that when he met her, he thought, "That should would be my wife, in my head, was a done deal." Their sweet romance kicked off that year and resulted in marriage in 1992. They welcomed daughter Alexandria in 2000. They were married for 26 years until his death from cancer in 2016.


Deep Purple singer-turned-Whitesnake frontman David Coverdale had a memorable romance with actress-turned-video vixen Tawny Kitaen in the late '80s. She famously starred in his band's music videos for "Here I Go Again," "Is This Love" and "Still of the Night." The MTV staples married in 1989 but split just two years later.


It was a match made in heaven — a Victoria's Secret model and the lead singer of a rock band. Lily Aldridge and Caleb Followill met, fittingly, at the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival in 2007 and soon started seeing each other. She even starred in his band's music video for the 2008 hit "Use Somebody." After dating for a few years, the stunning couple wed in 2011 and have since welcomed two kids, daughter Dixie and son Winston.


Priscilla Presley was just 14 when she met a 24-year-old Elvis Presley in Germany where her father was stationed at the same time the King of Rock 'n' Roll was doing military service there. They began an innocent yet long romance that led Elvis to propose in 1966. They married in Las Vegas just a few months later and welcomed daughter Lisa Marie Presley — Elvis's only child — in 1968, exactly nine months after their wedding day. They split in 1972.


Shannon Tweed was a Playboy Playmate — Playmate of the Year in 1982 and Hugh Hefner's partner for 14 months, in fact! — before she fell for the one and only Gene Simmons of KISS. The singer-bassist met the model at the Playboy mansion, naturally, and they started dating in 1983. After 28 years and two kids together, daughter Sophie and son Nick, the longtime lovers finally made things official and married in 2011.


It was a rock romance written in the stars when No Doubt and Bush both performed at a holiday concert for Los Angeles radio station KROQ in 1995. Lead singers Gwen Stefani and Gavin Rossdale struck up a romance, which led to marriage in 2002. The musicians, who had three sons together, lasted for nearly 20 years, splitting in 2015.


Patti Scialfa was a talented guitarist, singer and songwriter when she joined the E Street Band in 1984 and soon headed out on tour with Bruce Springsteen, postponing recording her own album. The two weren't romantically involved yet — Bruce was still with first wife Julianne Phillips and Patti briefly dated Tom Cruise — but by 1988, Bruce had separated from Julianne and he and Patti struck up a romantic relationship. By 1990, they'd welcomed their first child, son Evan, and they married in 1991. Daughter Jessica joined the brood in 1991, followed by son Samuel in 1994. They've been settled in New Jersey ever since, impressing the rock world with their successful love story.


Rock music's most mysterious couple? That's Meg White and Jack White, who originally claimed to be brother-and-sister members of The White Stripes. It was later revealed that the duo had actually married in 1996, but they kept up the charade of being siblings until splitting as a couple in 2000… though they remained bandmates and went on to find worldwide success as a duo. Meg later married future-ex-husband Jackson Smith (the son of rockers Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith) in Jack's backyard!


The Beatles star Paul McCartney and photographer Linda McCartney had a long relationship that kicked off in the '60s. They married in 1969 and welcomed three children together (he adopted her daughter from her first marriage). The couple moved to a farm and became animal activists following the disbanding of the Beatles in 1970 and soon formed the band Wings. Linda tragically passed away in 1998 after a three-year battle with breast cancer.


Debbie Harry's relationship with Blondie co-founder Chris Stein was ignited when they became bandmates. They met in 1974 when Chris joined her then-band, The Stilettos. They went on to co-found Blondie in 1974 and soon made it big with hits like "Rapture," "Heart of Glass" and "Call Me." Their romance endured until 1989, after which they remained bandmates.


Rocker Pete Doherty was the frontman of The Libertines when he met a very famous model by the name of Kate Moss at her birthday party in 2005. They kicked off an intense off-and-on relationship for the next few years that included marriage plans before they finally split for good in 2007.


Death Cab for Cutie rocker Ben Gibbard found love with another famous face — Zooey Deschanel, who sings in the duo She and Him on top of acting — in the '00s. Zooey and Ben made it to the altar in 2009… though they ended up splitting just two years later in 2011.


Pat Benatar is a legendary rocker who rose to fame in the late '70s. And by her side the whole time? Guitarist Neil Giraldo, who was playing for Rick Derringer before joining Pat on tour in 1979. The talented duo started dating and married in 1982, eventually welcoming daughters Haley and Hana.Their love sparked some serious music magic — Neil also produced some of Pat's biggest hits including "Love is a Battlefield" and "We Belong" and performed on every one of her albums.


Beastie Boys member Adam Horovitz — who previously dated Molly Ringwald and was married to actress Ione Skye in the early '90s — found love in 1996 with fellow musician Kathleen Hanna of the punk band Bikini Kill. Kathleen went on to front Le Tigre in the late '90s and early '00s, and then The Julie Ruin after 2010. Her songs "Capri Pants" with Bikini Kill and "Just My Kind" from The Julie Ruin are about Adam, aka Ad-Rock. They married in Hawaii in 2006 and are still together.


Musicians Régine Chassagne and Win Butler married in 2003 — the year before their band, Arcade Fire, found fame with their debut album, "Funeral." In 2022, Régine stood by him after he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women — which he denied, insisting every encounter outside his marriage was consensual.

The most iconic relationships in music history (2024)


Who is the most powerful couple in music? ›

1: Beyoncé and Jay-Z

Heading our lists of the biggest power couples in music, Beyoncé and Jay-Z have held the title for the past two decades. Though the pair tend to lead a very private life away from the prying eyes of the press, speculations and curiosity have always followed their relationship.

Who are the famous grunge couples? ›

Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love defined the grunge scene of the '90s. Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Courtney Love met in a nightclub in 1990 and got married just a few months after meeting – a running trend for many '90s couples, it appears. At the time, Nirvana was at the height of its popularity.

Who all sang the greatest love of all? ›

Since 1977, a great number of artists have recorded this song, including Shirley Bassey, Oleta Adams, Alexandra Burke, Deborah Cox, Ferrante & Teicher and Kevin Rowland.

Who is the king queen of music? ›

Michael Jackson and Madonna have been closely associated with the terms "King and Queen of Pop" since the 1980s. Some nicknames have been strongly promulgated and contested by various artists, and occasionally disowned or played down by their subjects.

Who is the most iconic celebrity couple? ›

1950: Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart

Arguably the most iconic Hollywood couple of all time, Bogie and Bacall met while filming 1944's To Have and Have Not. They married in 1945 and made three more movies together before Humphrey's death from cancer in 1957.

Who is the queen of grunge? ›

Legacy. Bell is considered an early grunge pioneer and is dubbed "the Godmother of Grunge" and "queen of Grunge".

Who were the big 4 of grunge? ›

  • Alice in Chains.
  • Nirvana.
  • Soundgarden.
  • Pearl Jam.
Aug 6, 2018

Who is the most powerful guy in music? ›

Billboard named Grainge as the first-ever Executive of the Decade after he topped the magazine's "Power 100" list as the most powerful person in the music business in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2022. He is the only person to ever hold that distinction more than once and for consecutive years.

Who are musicians most likely to marry? ›

Male musicians and singers are most likely to marry female musicians and singers or male retail supervisors.

Who is the most powerful music band in the world? ›

The Beatles are ranked as the number one band of all time.

The ranking of the Beatles as the number one band implies that they have been evaluated and considered superior to all other bands based on certain criteria, such as album sales, chart success, critical acclaim, cultural impact, and overall musical influence.

Who is the power couple in country music? ›

Ever since they met back in 1994, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw have become known as one of the most iconic couples in country music. The two first connected at a showcase for up-and-coming country artists, but it wasn't until Faith joined Tim on tour two years later that sparks really started to fly.


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